We all know Thor has been the weakest Avenger when it comes to the standalone movies. The first film is solid, the second is mediocre, and the third is, well. Thor: Ragnarok takes the God of Thunder in a completely different direction than his previous outings. At times it feels like a stroke of genius, but at others, it feels a bit forced. Let’s talk about it.
The plot is relatively simple. Hela (Cate Blanchett) is an ancient evil that Odin (Anthony Hopkins) locked away. All of this took place before Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Loki (Tom Hiddleston) were born. She has returned to seek out revenge and wants to take over Asgard. Thor tries to stop her but gets sent to the planet Sakaar. This is where the majority of the film takes place. He runs into the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), starts a team, and tries to takedown Hela. Told you it was simple. First of all, can we talk about how good Cate Blanchett is? She steals every scene she’s in; I can watch an entire movie just about Hela. Unfortunately, she doesn’t get nearly enough screentime. It is understandable because we leave Asgard pretty early in the film. Sadly, it hurts her performance. The same goes for Karl Urban as Skurge. A great character but not nearly enough screentime. Instead, we go to Sakaar and meet a new cast of characters: Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson), Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum), and Korg (Taika Waititi).
The new characters are all solid and play off of Hemsworth surprisingly well. I wasn’t sure if the comedic tone of the film would work for Thor; somehow [director] Taika Waititi managed to pull it off. Ragnarok is a Waititi film through and through. He brings a unique style to the Marvel universe. He was able to make the movie really emotional at times. The balance of serious moments and humor was fantastic. The film has the biggest stakes imaginable, and yet they feel surprisingly small. The story is very personal. It focuses on family, friendship, and the end of Thor’s journey. As the Marvel movies connect more and more, you can forget that this is the end of Thor’s trilogy. Ragnarok makes callbacks to the first two movies, as well as the Avengers films, wrapping his story up nicely. If the story ended here, I would’ve been happy. The film sets up the future of the MCU quite well. It doesn’t have many connections to Avengers Infinity War, but it leaves the story open to new possibilities. Now, I’m not going into detail because it’s a gigantic spoiler. You should know that I can’t wait to see what happens next.
The film hits a few bumps here and there. One of the things that did stick out was the absence of Lady Sif and the Warriors Three. They were in the first two films, but here they’re nowhere to be found. Also, the fact that the film ultimately ignores Jan Foster (Natalie Portman) is both hilarious and unfortunate. It feels like they’re trying to sweep the bad things [from previous movies] under the rug. The pacing also could’ve been much better. The first act felt rushed while the third act felt slow. It wasn’t a huge issue, but it’s worth mentioning. The humor felt a little forced at times. Not every joke lands but that’s usually how it works in comedies.
The heart of the Thor films has always been the relationship between Thor and Loki. In Ragnarok, we see a new side of their relationship. We get more details on their childhood, and how they still care about each other (mostly). It’s always great to see Hemsworth and Hiddleston on screen together; this time was no exception. Part of me wishes we got to see a Thor movie wholly set on Asgard; with Thor and Loki going up against Hela. Still, what we got was really good.
Is Thor: Ragnarok the best superhero flick of the year? No. Is it the best of the three Thor films? Probably not. It is a great film that brings an end to a pretty solid trilogy. The humor is excellent, the characters are fantastic, the action is fun, and the villains are solid when we do see them. The movie is an enjoyable Marvel adventure.
That’ll bring an end to our 7 Days of Thor: Ragnarok
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Thor: Ragnarok is in theaters now.
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